Liván Moinelo Pita
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 5' 7", Weight 139 lb.
Liván Moinelo has pitched in Japan and Cuba and for the Cuban national team.
Moinelo debuted for the Vegueros de Pinar del Río in 2013-2014, going 2-2 with three saves and a 4.05 ERA. The teenager walked 25 in 33 1/3 IP. In 2014-2015, he improved to 8-1, 1.46 with 8 saves. He allowed a .188 batting average and had 63 K to 9 BB in 61 2/3 IP. He was 7th in the Cuban Serie Nacional in saves, between Ciro Silvino Licea and Yadir Rabi.
At age 19, he made the Cuban national team for the first time, at the 2015 Pan American Games; he was their youngest player, almost a year and ten months younger than Héctor Mendoza. He was, in fact, the youngest player on any of the men's teams that year (some of the players in the women's baseball event were younger), almost six months younger than Tyler O'Neill. He did well at 1-0, 1.93 in four games (tied for the team lead). He got the win over Nicaragua, relieving Yander Guevara with a 6-3 deficit and allowing no hits, walks or runs in 4 2/3 IP as Cuba would win, 11-6. Against Team USA, he entered in the 7th with the bases loaded and one out. He allowed a two-run double to Travis Jankowski, Albert Almora being thrown out at third on the play. Yunier Cano took over and gave up a two-run double as the US tied it. Cuba won the Bronze Medal.
In the 2015 Premier 12, he was no longer Cuba's youngest player as Julio Pablo Martínez was a few months younger. He put in a show against Team Canada, relieving Yosvany Torres in the first with a 3-0 deficit and striking out nine in six shutout innings before cracking in the 7th, allowing two more. He also got a win over Italy with 2 1/3 shutout innings. For the event, he was 1-0 with a 4.15 ERA. His 11 strikeouts tied Andres Santiago for 8th (leaderboards not counting the finale). In 2015-2016, he was 6-5 with 14 saves and a 2.82 ERA. In game 2 of the finals, he blanked the Tigres de Ciego de Ávila from the 8th to the 12th before allowing the losing run in the 13th. He then saved wins in games 4, 5 and 6 as the Vegueros tied the Series but they dropped game 7. He tied Alexander Rodríguez for 9th in the league with 34 games pitched, was second in saves (one behind Hector Ponce) and tied Dachel Duquesne and Frank Montieth for 4th in strikeouts (73). He was named Cuba's All-Star LHP that year.
Moinelo struggled in the 2016 Caribbean Series as his 10.38 ERA was the highest of any qualifier; reinforcing Ciego de Ávila. He was rocked for five runs in 1/3 of an inning against the Santurce Crabbers but pitched four shutout innings versus the Tigres de Aragua. That summer, he played for Cuba in the Canadian-American Association, going 0-1 with 3 saves, a 1.88 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 14 1/3 IP. In 2016-2017, he was 8-4 with two saves and a 3.25 ERA for the Vegueros in the first half and reinforced the Perros de Holguín when the Vegueros did not make the second half. He had a 4-5, 2.93 record for the Perros. He tied Vladimir García and Jonder Martínez for third in the league in wins, tied for third in losses and was 8th with 63 strikeouts (between Yariel Rodríguez and Erly Casanova). He then joined his third team of the year, playing for the Alazanes de Granma in the 2017 Caribbean Series and throwing 2 2/3 scoreless frames in saving Lázaro Blanco's opening win over the Tigres del Licey in a combined shutout. His 5 2/3 scoreless innings for the Series marked a nice improvement on 2016; only two hurlers worked more zeroes that Series - Daniel Rodríguez and Vladimir Baños.
In the 2017 World Baseball Classic, he allowed one run in three innings, giving up three hits and striking out seven but walking five. He tied Baños for the most strikeouts on the Cuban staff, but only Yoannis Yera and Josh Zeid issued more walks in the tournament and both worked at least 4 2/3 more innings. He then went to Japan, signing with the Softbank Hawks, joining Cuban slugging star Alfredo Despaigne on the team as part of an arrangement allowing Cuban players to play in NPB without defecting. He went 4-3 with a save and a 2.52 ERA in 34 regular-season games in 2017 in Japanese Baseball, helping the Hawks to the Pacific League pennant. He allowed only 21 hits in 35 2/3 IP.